From Altar-Throne to Table
The Campaign for Frequent Holy Communion in the Catholic Church
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Publisher: Scarecrow Press
Number of Pages: 262
Width: 16.4 cm
Height: 23.9 cm
From Altar-Throne to Table: The Campaign for Frequent Holy Communion in the Catholic Church investigates what the celebrated scholar of liturgy Robert A. Taft, SJ, calls the greatest and most successful liturgical reform in Catholic history. Only a century ago, faithful, practicing Catholics received Holy Communion only once a year; now, among American English-speaking Catholics, Holy Communion is a routine, weekly devotional practice. This book explains how and why this ritual sea-change happened. This book emphasizes that significant ritual change may occur while liturgical texts remain the same, and it also proposes a method for understanding the causes for such a ritual change. It admonishes not to project current ritual practice into even our recent past. Further, it implies an explanation for the massive decline in Catholics' use of the sacrament of reconciliation.
Dougherty provides an important introduction to this 'astonishingly swift' change in ritual practice... From Altar-Throne to Table provides a much-needed analysis of a critical change in ritual practice during the complex of liturgical reform in the course of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Students of modern Catholic history, Catholic lay movements, and liturgical studies will find Dougherty's work a necessary resource for the history of the frequency of communion in Catholic sacramental practice and informative for the socio-cultural history of American Catholics. American Catholic Studies